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Mystery cable leaking oil into the Mystic

Oil and water sampling by a Coast Guard technician in the Mystic River

Petty Officer 2nd Class Bradley Martin collects sheen samples. Photo by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard, the state Department of Environmental Protection and a private oil-spill company are cleaning up an oil spill on the Mystic River near the Alford Street bridge even as they try to figure out which underwater cable it's leaking from.

The Coast Guard was scheduled to send divers into the water today to try to find the source of the dielectric oil, used as an insulator in electrical conduits.



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I noticed a light oil sheen on the downstream side of the dam near the Somerville shore. Chatting with a fisherman neither of us had ever seen that in the area.

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Just as an example of how badly these can spread [from electrical conduits], look no further than a previous Universal Hub story:

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Part of the problem is that there are way too many unmapped dumping connections to the Mystic and Malden rivers that it is really difficult to track things down when bad stuff happens.

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Oil is bad enough but old conduits sometimes had PCBs mixed into the oil as well.

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